Kanye West Loves Justin Bieber's New Music Just As Much As You Do
Here's a surprise: despite giving plenty of proof that he's his own biggest fan, Kanye West shared over the weekend that his favorite song of 2015 is not one of his own. In a tweet posted on Sunday, West stated that Justin Bieber is actually the artist responsible for releasing his fave track from last year, the hit song "What Do You Mean." Yet while it might feel out of nowhere to some that West chose Bieber for this honor, fans of both artists might remember that the two have a long history of respect and affinity, so it's actually not that much of a shock.
West's tweet coincides with the kickoff of Justin Bieber's tour for his Purpose album, which featured the "What Do You Mean" single, so it's nice to see the Life of Pablo artist giving him a boost. The two singers actually have a long history of collaboration and friendship (well, as long as it can be, considering that Bieber is only 22). And while it might seem like an unlikely pairing, I actually think it makes a lot of sense — both artists contain a similar mixture of cockiness and humble self-awareness; they've both caused a lot of controversy; they both are often more willing than many less-scandalous artists to admit their mistakes. West and Bieber also share an obsessive devotion to their music and to challenging themselves to evolve their sound and creativity. To celebrate a not-so-unlikely friendship, here is a timeline of Bieber and West's bond.
August 2010: "Runaway Love"
Back when Bieber was just taking off, West tweeted at him in support of My World 2.0 , and the song "Runaway Love" in particular. Bieber responded that he was a fan, and they discussed collaborating. This culminated in West and Raekwon's remix of "Runaway Love."
March 2015: Purpose
After a rough year and a half, Bieber set out to make a more mature album, and he reportedly turned to West for advice. While the rapper is not credited on the album, he did advise Bieber, who also used frequent West producer Mike Dean on the song "No Sense," according to Rolling Stone. West reportedly told Bieber during this time to "make music that’s so good people can’t hate on it," reports NME.
November 2015: Collaborating
In a great quote from an interview with i-D, Bieber described what working with and listening to West is like: "Kanye's the best. He just talks. For so long. And it's so dope. Even when it sounds crazy, I know that I'm listening to how he feels because he always puts things into such a different perspective."
November 2015: Carpool Karaoke
In a cute segment for James Corden, Bieber chose to rap West's classic "Stronger," and he definitely did it justice.
February 2016: "Ultralight Beam"
While Bieber didn't appear on the final version of The Life of Pablo, he played an important role in creating the sound of what became the opening track on West's album. According to a recently released description of the song's origins by Fonzworth Bentley, Bieber reportedly said this when asked to work with West: "Tell Yeezy whatever he needs I got it."
Hopefully, this is just the beginning of a long, collaborative friendship between the two. Personally, I'm hoping for a joint album.